Hyderabad: In a major setback for Andhra Pradesh government, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday issued interim orders staying the construction of lift irrigation scheme at Pothirddypadu head regulator to draw Krishna River water from Srisailam project to cater to the needs of Rayalaseema region.
Further, the NGT also constituted a committee to study the proposed project and directed it to submit a report within two months.
The stay order was issued following a petition filed by social activist Gavinolla Srinivas from Mahbubnagar district before the NGT Southern Regional Branch in Chennai last week against the illegal construction activity by the AP government against the provisions of Water Act and Environment Act and its impact on River Krishna.
The petitioner urged the Tribunal to declare the action of the AP government as illegal since it was done without obtaining environment clearance. He pleaded before the Tribunal to restrain AP from taking up the lift scheme without approvals from Union ministries concerned, Telangana government and the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
Responding to the petition on Wednesday, the two-member bench led by Justice Ramakrishnan constituted a committee comprising expert members from the Union Environment Ministry, Central Pollution Control Board, IIT-Hyderabad and senior KTMB members.
The committee will study the ground-level situation and will submit a detailed report to the NGT. Until further orders, the AP government has been restricted from taking up construction of the project.
It may be recalled that following the objections raised by the Telangana government, the KRMB had also asked the AP government to stop construction of the proposed lift irrigation project immediately.
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